2019 | 3 | 4(10) | 5-20
Article title

The Performative Aspects of Metaphor: The Metaphorization of Silence between Intentionality and Conventionality

Title variants
Languages of publication
Metaphor, as is known, has been considered an expression of the creative approach of a subject to language and thinking. Metaphor enables the subject of cognition and action to establish meaning – the subject exercises semiosis not only by referring to the former convention and the situational context, but also by transforming it due to the distinct act of turning the metaphor into an instrument of expression. The innovative character of metaphor allows one to consider it in the context of performative theory, whereas its receptive, evocative character requires interpretation from the recipient. In both cases, metaphor in acts of communication, opens their participants towards specific expressions – performative expression in the case of individual semantic innovation, and receptive expression in the case of the interpretation of former metaphors. The specific example of silence, considered as a kind of metaphor within the frameworks of the performative theory, is the subject-matter of the paper. The basic question of the paper, referring to John L. Austin’s speech act theory and to his followers, is related to the source of the aforementioned metaphorization – to what degree is it an intention of language users, and to what degree is it a language convention which allows one to combine words and establish new associations metaphorically? In his pragmatic concept of meaning, Austin stresses the role of the context of an utterance – the situational context may also enable the establishment of metaphor as a figure of speech that dynamizes and moves our thinking.

Physical description
  • Institute of Philosophy and Sociology, Polish Academy of Sciences
  • Aristotle. Poetics. Edited and translated by Leonardo Tarán and Dimitri Gutas. Leiden & Boston: Brill, 2012.
  • Aristotle. Rhetoric. Edited and translated by Edward M. Cope and ‎John E. Sandys. Cambridge & New York: Cambridge University Press, 2010.
  • Austin, John L. How to Do Things with Words. Edited by James O. Urmson and Marina Sbisá. Oxford & London: Oxford University Press, 1962.
  • Austin, John L. Philosophical Papers. Second edition. Edited by James O. Urmson and Geoffrey J. Warnock. Oxford & London: Oxford University Press, 1970 [1961].
  • Austin, John L. Sense and Sensibilia. Reconstructed from the manuscript notes by Geoffrey J. Warnock. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1962.
  • Beardsley, Monroe C. “The Metaphorical Twist.” Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 22, no. 3 (1962): 293-307.
  • Benveniste, Émile. Problèmes de linguistique générale. Volume 1. Paris, Gallimard, 1966.
  • Benveniste, Émile. Problems in General Linguistics. Translated by Mary E. Meek. Coral Gables, Fla.: University of Miami Press (Miami Linguistics Series), 1971.
  • Bernatchez, Stéphane. “Briser la loi du silence sur le silence de la loi: de l’interprétation sémantique à l’application pragmatique du droit.” Les Cahiers De Droit (Université Laval) 56, no. 3-4 (Le silence) (September-December, 2015): 233-255.
  • Black, Max. “Metaphor.” Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 55 (1954-1955): 273-294.
  • Blumenberg, Hans. “Paradigmen zu einer Metaphorologie.” Archive für Begriffsgeschichte 6 (1960): 5-142.
  • Blumenberg, Hans. Paradigmen zu einer Metaphorologie. Frankfurt am Main: Suhrkamp, 1997.
  • Blumenberg, Hans. Paradigms for a Metaphorology. Translated with an afterword by Robert Savage. Ithaca-New York: Cornell University Press & Cornell University Press Library, 2010.
  • Davidson, Donald. Inquiries into Truth and Interpretation. Oxford & New York: Oxford University Press, 1984.
  • Davidson, Donald. “What Metaphors Mean.” Critical Inquiry 5, no. 1 (Special Issue on Metaphor) (Autumn, 1978): 31-47. Reprinted in Inquiries into Truth and Interpretation, Oxford & New York: Oxford University Press, 1984, 245-264.
  • Davis, Wayne A. Implicature: Intention, Convention, and Principle in the Failure of Gricean Theory. Cambridge & New York: Cambridge University Press, 1998.
  • Derrida, Jacques. L’Écriture et la différence. Paris: Seuil, 1967.
  • Derrida, Jacques. Marges de la philosophie. Paris: Minuit, 1972.
  • Derrida, Jacques. Margins of Philosophy. Translated by Alan Bass. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1982.
  • Derrida, Jacques. “La mythologie blanche.” Poétique, no. 5 (Rhétorique et philosophie) (1971), 1-52.
  • Derrida, Jacques. “White Mythology: Metaphor in the Text of Philosophy.” Translated by F. C. T. Moore. New Literary History 6, no. 1 (On Metaphor) (Autumn, 1974): 5-74. Next published in Margins of Philosophy. Translated by Alan Bass. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1982, 207-272.
  • Derrida, Jacques. Writing and Difference. Translated and introduction by Alan Bass. London & New York: Routledge, 2005 [1978].
  • Eco, Umberto. Semiotics and the Philosophy of Language. Bloomington & Indianapolis: Indiana University Press, 1986.
  • Evink, Eddo. “Horizons of Expectation. Ricoeur, Derrida, Patočka.” Studia Phaenomenologica, no. 13 (2013): 297-323.
  • Gibbs, Raymond W. Jr., ed. The Cambridge Handbook of Metaphor and Thought. Cambridge & New York: Cambridge University Press, 2008.
  • Glanzberg, Michael. “Metaphor and Lexical Semantics.” The Baltic International Yearbook of Cognition, Logic and Communication 3 (A Figure of Speech) (August, 2008): 1-47.
  • Grabher, Gudrun M., and Ulrike Jessner, eds. Semantics of Silences in Linguistics and Literature. Heidelberg: Universitätsverlag C. Winter, 1996.
  • Guillemard, Sylvette, and Rainville, Pierre. “Présentation: Le silence.” Les Cahiers De Droit (Université Laval) 56, no. 3-4 (Le silence) (September-December, 2015): 229-231.
  • Hummel, Pascale. “ ‘Quand taire, c’est faire’… ou le silence performatif dans la poésie de Pindare.” Rheinisches Museum für Philologie, no. 3-4 (1997): 211-223.
  • Johnson, Mark, and George Lakoff. Conceptual Metaphor in Everyday Language. In Philosophical Perspectives on Metaphor. Edited by Mark Johnson, 286-328. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1981.
  • Johnson, Mark, and George Lakoff. Metaphors We Live By. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1980.
  • Kurczewska, Joanna. “Narody i przemilczenia.” Przegląd Filozoficzno-Literacki, no. 4 (35) (2012): 485-504.
  • Leach, Edmund. Culture and Communication: The Logic by which Symbols Are Connected. Cambridge & New York: Cambridge University Press, 1976.
  • Lévi-Strauss, Claude. Le cru et le cuit (Mythologiques. Volume I). Paris: Plon, 1964. Volumes I-IV were published in 1964-1971. The English translations were published 1969-1981 as Mythologiques – Introduction to a Science of Mythology. Translated by John Weightman and Doreen Weightman. First edition: New York: Harper & Row; London: Jonathan Cape. Next published by The University of Chicago Press.
  • Patočka, Jan. Body, Community, Language, World. Edited by James Dodd and translated by Erazim Kohak. Chicago: Open Court Publishing, 1998.
  • Quintilian. The Orator’s Education. Volumes I-V. Translated by Donald A. Russell. Cambridge, Mass. & London: Harvard University Press (Loeb Classical Library), 2001.
  • Reimer, Marga. “The Problem of Dead Metaphor.” Philosophical Studies 82, no.1 (1996): 13-25.
  • Ricoeur, Paul. “Imagination et métaphore.” Psychologie Médicale, no. 14 (1982): 1883-1887.
  • Ricoeur, Paul. La métaphore vive. Paris: Seuil, 1975.
  • Ricoeur, Paul. “The Metaphorical Process as Cognition, Imagination, and Feeling.” Critical Inquiry 5, no.1 (Special Issue on Metaphor) (Autumn, 1978): 143-159.
  • Ricoeur, Paul. The Rule of Metaphor: Multi-Disciplinary Studies of the Creation of Meaning in Language. Translated by Robert Czerny. Toronto & Buffalo: University of Toronto Press, 1977.
  • Robrieux, Jean-Jacques. Les figures de style et de rhétorique. Paris: Dunod, 1998.
  • Rorty, Richard. Objectivity, Relativism and Truth: Philosophical Papers. Volume 1. Cambridge & New York: Cambridge University Press, 1991.
  • Rothenbuhler, Eric W. Ritual Communication: From Everyday Conversation to Mediated Ceremony. Thousand Oaks, CA.: Sage, 1998.
  • Russell, Paul. “Locke on Express and Tacit Consent: Misinterpretations and Inconsistencies.” Political Theory 14, no.2 (May, 1986): 291-306.
  • de Saussure, Ferdinand. Course in General Linguistics. Edited by Charles Bally and Albert Sechehaye, translated by Roy Harris. La Salle, Illinois: Open Court, 1983.
  • Searle, John R. “Metaphor.” In Expression and Meaning: Studies in the Theory of Speech Acts. Cambridge & New York: Cambridge University Press, 1979, 76-116.
  • Stalnaker, Robert. Context and Content: Essays on Intentionality in Speech and Thought. Oxford & New York: Oxford University Press, 1999.
  • Weigel, Sigrid. “Poetics as a Presupposition of Philosophy: Hannah Arendt’s ‘Denktagebuch’.” Telos, no. 146 (Spring, 2009): 97-110.
Document Type
Publication order reference
YADDA identifier
JavaScript is turned off in your web browser. Turn it on to take full advantage of this site, then refresh the page.